SWaWLQ V – Event Report

Introduction

Hello everyone! Despite some event delays due to a COVID spike at the start of the year and a requirement to perform an emergency venue change the day before, we managed to finish the fifth installment of the South West and Wales Legacy Quarterly (SWaWLQ)!

As with each time I will quickly give a little background information: Inspired by a swiftly developing Legacy scene within the Bristol and Cardiff regions of the UK and the amazing reports from the lovely folks who attend the London Legacy Monthly (LLM) events, a small group of us were inspired to give organising a similar event a go. Fast forward a number of years now (thanks COVID) with no small amount of helpful advice gleaned from the LLM organisers and we have been able to get five events of the series underway.

SWaWLQ V

23rd April 2022

We had a bit of a drop in attendance numbers this time around. There were some variables related to the event they may have influenced this. Being hosted in Cardiff over Bristol for one, having had to have a last minute venue change another, the prize pool maybe not looking as flash as could be, a clash with the New Capenna Pre-Release weekend or a sudden influx of Legacy events around the country happening earlier in the month / early in May could all be contributing factors to this. As the attendance was less this time around we would love to invite your feedback for what made you want to or not want to attend this event to try and ensure that future events cater for what the community want. Despite this slight dip and a couple of drops from the venue change we still had 22 players turn up to slam, jam and sling some cards.

We were hosted this time by the lovely ZeroDegrees microbrewery in Cardiff. They were very accomdating especially given the short notice and provided an excellent private space for the event to be held. They also served delicious food and drinks so please do check them out or give them a nice review via Google as they certainly earned it! The venue opened early for us allowing an 11:30 player meeting into a 11:45 kick off as planned.

The Tournament Structure

The event was five rounds of swiss with a cut to top 8 judged at PubREL with Winter as “Head Judge” and myself as main deputy. Prizes were a playset of Solitude for first, a playset of Aether Vial for second, a pair of Rishadan Port each for 3rd and 4th and some other goodies for 5th to 8th. We once again had our door prize which anyone who didn’t make top-8 but played out all five swiss rounds was eligible for. This was in the form of a Lego Vespa scooter kit! (Everyone loves Lego!). As before, playtest cards (proxies) were allowed but it looked like the majority were actually not running them with only a few opting to either branch out with a different archetype to their norm or play the format without a collection already to hand.

First Place Prize
Second Place Prize
3rd/4th Place Prizes

The Metagame Breakdown

Once more we gathered all the decklists to get a full read on the meta to see how it looked. There have been a couiple of major changes since the last event the most notable being the banning of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty which brought some interesting additions in the form of lands like Otawara, Soaring City and powerful creatures like Kappa Cannoneer. These cards were definately present in the room so it looks like their place in the format is already secured.

Across the 22 players we saw 17 unique archetypes represented with only two archetypes fielding multiples. The representation of the traditional “blue cantrip” style decks was a little higher this time compared to last at around 63%. As usual breaking it down into the simplifications of Aggro vs Combo vs Control we see Aggro as usual at the top at 45% or so and the other two representing equally at around 28% each. The dominance of Aggro is most certainly a combination of UR Delver being the most popular archetype by far and the addition of the 8-Cast archetype which has performed very well in other UK events of late.

There were 3 “decks to beat” I think going into the event in the form of UR Delver, 8-Cast and Yorion Death and Taxes. Until something changes in the meta I think these three decks are the ones most likely to be encountered in the wild in the UK and you should have a plan for each accordingly (hope to avoid is also a viable plan!). Once again UR Delver was the most popular archetype by far but surprisingly the other two “decks to beat” only fielded a single pilot each. From having looked at the metagame locally and discussed with one of the newcomers to our event I had recommended Madness as a potential meta-breaker option to try and crack through the relatively fair attendance of the room and it looks like that recommendation paid off with the deck doing very well for itself.

The full list of archetypes is displayed below:

Archetype#Archetype#Archetype#Archetype#
4C Control (no B)1Elves2Moon Stompy1UR Delver5
8-Cast1Infect1Ninjas1Worldgorger Dragon Combo (Grixis ft. Yorion)1
AI Bomberman (UW)1Jeskai Control1Sneak and Show1
Aluren (BUG)1Jeskai Miracles1Stax (Mono W)1
Death and Taxes (Yorion)1Madness1TES1
The complete metagame breakdown from the event.

Archetype Discussion – Delver

As always we start with the bogeyman of the format, the deck that seems to be optimal no matter what new cards are printed (or banned) Delver. UR Delver is still the prefferred flavour of the month with Expressive Iteration coupled with Murktide Regent providing a solid mix of mid to late game card advantage and aggression when mixed in with the usual suite of efficient interaction, removal, threats and cantrips. 5 players turned up with the archetype with a few variations between them. The main differences seemed to be in the choice of removal slots 5-6 in the main, the number of Mishra’s Bauble‘s run (to enable synergy with Dragon’s Rage Channeller) and the sideboard options with different people very much out to target different parts of the meta. Meltdown was one of the cards that seemed pretty consistent across all the decks showing respect to the aforementioned 8-cast deck that can be tricky to deal with going wide with Urza’s Saga tokens or resilient thanks to the Ward 4 effect on Kappa Cannoneer.

Delver didn’t convert too well in this event but that seems mostly to be down to the fact all the pilots got paired up against each other a lot with a string of mirror matches keeping their records fairly even as they traded wins and losses amongst themselves. Two pilots managed to get in and another got very close at 9th place in the swiss (losing out due to breakers).

Archetype Discussion – Elves

The only other deck really to have multiple pilots, Elves appeared as a solid choice for the event. The potential for a fast combo combined with the toolbox of Allosaurus Shepherd as a catch-all anti blue card and being able to include Endurance too makes it a flexible deck. In the event there was mixed results with one pilot managing to get all the way to the finals before being outsted by a pretty poor matchup and the other not doing so well but having a tonne of fun nonethless. I think it will remain a decent contender for deck choice going forwards with the pivot of fair vs unfair available depending on the opposing deck and maindeck fetchable Collector’s Ouphe available to fight the new kid on the block it will do well for sure (unless fair black maybe starts creeping into favour again as Plague Engineer can be quite a beating.

Archetype Discussion – The Draw Bracket

This is definately some toungue-in-cheek from me but there is always a certain subsection of decks that seem to go to time, especially when paired against each other. In this case we saw Jeskai Control (the current iteration with Day’s Undoing), Jeskai Miracles (kicking it old school with Terminus), Yorion Death and Taxes and 4 Colour (no black) Control. Now it might be unfair to Death and Taxes to be included here as they can get quite aggressive when they want to but these are definately the decks that cause the most draws in the room. It was interesting seeing only one Taxes deck in the room and no presence of the recently ressurrected Grixis Control deck. There was certainly mixed results from these control-style shells but they did all seem to end up with at least one draw in the room (and not just the ID kind). These decks do require a lot of focus and long term commitment for an event so only elect to take them for a spin if you have the mental fortitude to endure it otherwise you could find yourself struggling. If it is your jam then they offer a decent balance against most fair strategies but can crumble in the face of fast combo.

Archetype Discussion – Non-Elves Combo

There was only one Storm pilot in the event and a smattering of other combo decks mixing up creature based and non-creature based strategies. From the looks of things a lot of people had strong sideboard tools prepared for combo decks with some assuming the presence of either more combo in general or at least that of the Doomsday archetype however with a majority presence of Delver, Doomsday is not the best meta choice. Again it was a varied result across the different combos archtypes but all of them seem pretty viable with Storm, either ANT or TES likely to be a decent choice going forwards. (Or even PITA Peer into the Abyss storm if you’re feeling fruity).

Because of the sheer diversity of the room I cannot go into much more detail without having to touch upon every deck but needless to say we had a fun mix of everything. There is however one aspect of the event I feel obliged to touch upon having decided it is now an institutuion in these reports.

The Greg Nichol’s Hall of Fame

Ah yes! Our delightful homage to all things graveyard based. We only had one dedicated graveyard archetype this time (unless you count the Vengevines in Madness or the looping of Lion’s Eye Diamond in Bomberman) in the form of Woldgorger Dragon combo and it looks like they struggled as the respect was still present with a myriad of items present fearing the likes of Dredge, Oops All Spells and BR Reanimator. We can see that still, despite not turning up the daddy of Dredge’s presence was felt.

Let’s see the full list in all its glory:

The main thing to note is the impact of Urza’s Saga increasing the use of Soul-Guide Lantern and the general reduced amount of hard graveyard hate with most relying on Surgical Extraction to get the job done.

The Top 8

22 players completed the full swiss portion and with the ashes falling we saw the following make it to the top tables:

  1. Francis Gene-Rowe on Madness
  2. Josh Petit on Jeskai Miracles
  3. Mark Humphreys on UR Delver
  4. Ross Mckenzie on Elves
  5. Evan Clements on TES
  6. Alec Drinkwater on UR Delver
  7. Solomon Corderoy on Death and Taxes
  8. Mark Aylett on 8-Cast
This is The Top 8!
this is The top 8 …. on drugs?

All 3 of the predicted “decks to beat” made it in and so we saw some might struggles as they clashed. But before that we had to spin a wheel and award our door prize! The winner was Ishu who was super happy to take it home after some bad beats at the event (and at the FNM the night before….)

Ishu showing off the greatest prize of all….LEGO!

Quarter Finals

Alas because of some other stuff that cropped up in the form of an emergency phone call I was unable to devote my full attention to collecting proper reports from all top-8 contenders. For that I apologise however I will include what I can:

Madness vs 8-Cast

Madness is just too fast a deck for 8-cast to be able to contend with and by the time they can bring to bear their stabilisation tools they are generally already dead. Francis managed to smash this one quite tidily leaving Mark to pick up the robot pieces.

Chalice of the void a little too late to the party

Elves vs TES

This was a surprising result and a close match being decided by a small misplay involving some timing of when to activate a Mox Opal for mana. Normally Elves struggles against the fast combo decks but thanks to a mix of fast Natural Order fun and Collector Ouphe Ross managed to triumph over Evan taking him to the semis.

Ross knows what’s coming

Jeskai Miracles vs Death and Taxes

This match went the full mile and then some! One game almost ended with the Jeskai player milling out due to a Monarch status “gifted” by their opponent but they were just about saved by being able to Terminus their own Snapcaster Mages to give themselves the time to win. In the time it took these two to finish duking it out the other blocks had finished the quater final and semi final matches! Eventually though Josh was able to triumph beating Sol’s little white creatures.

Intense gameplay between two very fair decks

UR Delver vs UR Delver (again)

As had been a theme in the event (I can already here the cries of “fixed” regarding the pairings) the two Delver players that slipped into the top 8 were paired against each other. It was a tough fight but Mark’s canny play and maindeck Pyroblast managed to beat down Alec’s use of True-Name Nemesis to through another mirror.

The matchup everyone has prepared for!

Semi Finals

Madness vs Elves

Francis took on the little green men this time and despite having a decent start, the fact that Elves can just hit harder if left unchecked and with the Madness deck having little to no way to stop the board clogging up thanks to Glimpse of Nature it meant that Madness (undefeated up until this point) finally fell by the wayside putting Elves into the Finals. As I said before this match finished even before the Quarters had fully resolved and Ross was praying that the Death and Taxes or UR Delver deck made it through.

Francis showing the power of madness

Jeskai Miracles vs UR Delver

If there is one thing Jeskai Miracles is geared towards, it ensuring that no one gets to keep any resolved creatures for any length of time. Mark had a hard time getting through the Swords to Plowshares, Terminus, Prismatic Ending and Snapcaster Mage that Josh had available to them meaning that Elves was set to face a tough matchup in the final.

Mark out to take no prisoners!

FINALS – Elves vs Jeskai Miracles

As Ross predicted it was a very rough ride and they couldn’t get enough of a presence down to either enact their combo or present a strong enough fair plan. As a result, under the watchful eye of all present it was Josh with Jeskai Miracles that finally took eveything down! Congratulations to our winner!

A tense grand final!
Elf balla elf ballin’
Congratulations to josh our winner!
Channeling spooky mindscultpor vibes!

Closing Remarks

(More photos below along with full top-8 decklists and the SPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE corner!)

Somehow we have managed to run this event at least semi-successfully for five installments and all I can say is a big thank-you to everyone who attends, shares and supports the events. The organising team run this as a passion project and without the demand and reward of seeing people engage and enjoy the events, there would be no incentive to run them! Hopefully for the next one we can work out how to bolster attendance and maybe complete our quest in finding a permanent venue to reside in. The organising committee are once again taking on feedback so please, if you have anything to say, either positive or constructively critical, let us know via Southwestlegacymtg@gmail.com. We were hosted this time at Zero Degrees in Cardiff and we wish to thank them and their staff for their contribution to the event! Also as always a big thankyou to Winter for running the event on the day and Stephen for running this website and sorting out all the ticketing, decklist collections and communications with the venue!

Thank-you for reading and we shall hopefully see you again soon – The SWaWLQ Organising Committee

3/4 of the organising committee
Perfectly normal behaviour, nothing to see hear…..

Top 8 Decklists

1st Place Jeskai Miracles by Josh Petit

Creatures (5)
Hullbreacher
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (28)
Brainstorm
Counterspell
Day’s Undoing
Force of Negation
Force of Will
Ponder
Prismatic Ending
Swords to Plowshares
Terminus

Planeswalkers (7)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler
Lands (20)
Arid Mesa
Flooded Strand
Island
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Sanctuary
Plains
Scalding Tarn
Tundra
Volcanic Islands

Sideboard (15)
Blood Moon
Containment Priest
Flusterstorm
Hydroblast
Izzet Staticaster
Meltdown
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Shark Typhoon
Supreme Verdict
Surgical Extraction

2nd Place Elves! by Ross McKenzie

Creatures (23)
Allosaurus Shepherd
Archon of Valor’s Reach
Birchlore Rangers
Collector Ouphe
Craterhoof Behemoth
Elvish Reclaimer
Elvish Visionary
Heritage Druid
Wirewood Symbiote

Spells (15)
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Natural Order
Once Upon a Time

Planeswalkers (1)
Grist, the Hunger Tide
Lands (21)
Bayou
Bojuka Bog
Boseiju, Who Endures
Dryad Arbor
Forest
Gaea’s Cradle
Misty Rainforest
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Carpet of Flowers
Endurance
Fatal Push
Force of Vigor
Run Afoul
Surgical Extraction
Thoughtseize

3rd/4th Place Madness by Francis Gene-Rowe

Creatures (32)
Anger
Anje’s Ravager
Basking Rootwalla
Blazing Rootwalla
Hollow One
Ox of Agonas
Putrid Imp
Street Wraith
Vengevine

Spells (10)
Burning Inquiry
Faithless Looting
Once Upon a Time

Artifacts (4)
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lands (14)
Arid Mesa
Badlands
Mountain
Scalding Tarn
Taiga
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Ancient Grudge
Firestorm
Leyline of the Void
Mindbreak Trap
Pyroblast

3rd/4th Place UR Delver by Mark Humphreys

Creatures (14)
Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft
Delver of Secrets
Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Murktide Regent
True-Name Nemesis

Spells (26)
Brainstorm
Chain Lightning
Daze
Expressive Iteration
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Pyroblast

Artifacts (1)
Mishra’s Bauble
Lands (19)
Flooded Strand
Island
Mountain
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
End the Festivities
Force of Negation
Meltdown
Price of Progress
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Spell Pierce
Surgical Extraction

5th-8th Place Sorcery Stompy by Evan Clements

Spells (28)
Ad Nauseam
Brainstorm
Burning Wish
Dark Ritual
Echo of Eons
Galvanic Relay
Ponder
Rite of Flame
Tendrils of Agony
Veil of Summer

Artifacts (19)
Chrome Mox
Defense Grid
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Mox Opal
Wishclaw Talisman
Lands (13)
Badlands
Bloodstained Mire
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Taiga
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Carpet of Flowers
Chain of Vapor
Echo of Eons
Empty the Warrens
Galvanic Relay
Peer into the Abyss
Tendrils of Agony

5th-8th Place Justice for Harambe by Alec Drinkwater

Creatures (13)
Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft
Delver of Secrets
Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Murktide Regent
Young Pyromancer

Spells (26)
Brainstorm
Chain Lightning
Daze
Expressive Iteration
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Pyroblast
Tarfire

Artifacts (2)
Mishra’s Bauble
Lands (19)
Flooded Strand
Island
Misty Rainforest
Mountain
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Fall from Favor
Force of Negation
Hydroblast
Meltdown
Narset, Parter of Veils
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Submerge
Surgical Extraction
Tormod’s Crypt
Torpor Orb

5th-8th Place Big Bird D&T by Solomon Corderoy

Creatures (33)
Cathar Commando
Flickerwisp
Mother of Runes
Palace Jailer
Recruiter of the Guard
Sanctum Prelate
Skyclave Apparition
Solitude
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Timeless Dragon

Spells (4)
Swords to Plowshares

Artifacts (9)
Aether Vial
Batterskull
Kaldra Compleat
Lion Sash
Shadowspear
Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands (34)
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
14 Plains
Rishadan Port
Sunbaked Canyon
Urza’s Saga
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Containment Priest
Council’s Judgment
Deafening Silence
Faerie Macabre
Kataki, War’s Wage
Mindbreak Trap
Peacekeeper
Pithing Needle
Rest in Peace
Serenity
Soul-Guide Lantern
Yorion, Sky Nomad

5th-8th Elves!! by Mark Aylett

Creatures (13)
Emry, Lurker of the Loch
Kappa Cannoneer
Sai, Master Thopterist
Thought Monitor

Spells (8)
Force of Will
Thoughtcast

Artifacts (23)
Aether Spellbomb
Chalice of the Void
Lotus Petal
Mishra’s Bauble
Mox Opal
Retrofitter Foundry
Shadowspear
Urza’s Bauble
Lands (16)
Ancient Tomb
Island
Otawara, Soaring City
Seat of the Synod
Urza’s Saga

Sideboard (15)
Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft
Dismember
Flusterstorm
Force of Negation
Grafdigger’s Cage
Hullbreacher
Hurkyl’s Recall
Karakas
Pithing Needle

Zee SPICEY CORNER!

There is one deck that I have to give it to today and that is from our delightful head judge Winter who decided to bring along Grixis Yorion Dragon Control. Combining traditional control elements like Hymn to Tourach with the Animate Dead x Worldgorger Dragon combo this pile looks to try and win through infinite land flickers to win via either something found with Fae of Wishes or infinite Pirahna Marsh triggers. Winter seems to be optimising it so look out for a more tuned version in a future event!

The Shai-Hulud award for Innovation: Yorion Kessimator by Winter

Creatures (17)
Baleful Strix
Fae of Wishes // Granted
Griselbrand
Hullbreacher
Kess, Dissident Mage
Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger
Snapcaster Mage
Thassa’s Oracle
Worldgorger Dragon

Spells (34)
Brainstorm
Careful Study
Chain of Smog
Entomb
Fatal Push
Force of Will
Hymn to Tourach
Kolaghan’s Command
Ponder
Punishing Fire
Reanimate
Thoughtseize

Enchantments (3)
Animate Dead
Dance of the Dead

Planswalkers (4)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Narset, Parter of Veils
Ral, Izzet Viceroy
Lands (22)
Badlands
Bloodstained Mire
Grove of the Burnwillows
Island
Piranha Marsh
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Swamp
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Animate Dead
Ashiok, Dream Render
Echoing Truth
Flusterstorm
Force of Negation
Massacre
Meltdown
Pithing Needle
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Serra’s Emissary
Torment of Hailfire
Yorion, Sky Nomad

Event Gallery

TRAINS!
The Quarter finals
Cheeky little nook (Tables 09 – 11)
Round underway!
Mark B Intently listening to the player meeting
Legacy and smiles!

Leave a Reply